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Robert Maclay Widney
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Birth: Dec. 23, 1838
Death: Nov. 14, 1929

He was the older brother of Dr. Joseph Widney, second president of the University of Southern California, and the nephew of Robert Samuel Maclay, a pioneer missionary to China; and Charles Maclay, later a state senator for California.

Maclay left Ohio in September 1855 and spent two years hunting and trapping on the great plains and in the Rocky Mountains, arriving at last in California in September 1857. He studied at the University of the Pacific (then located in Santa Clara) from 1858 to 1862. He was admitted to the bar in 1865, and moved to Los Angeles in 1867. In 1871, he was named a judge of the Court of California for Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties. He was a founder of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce (established in 1873). In 1874 he began the first rail transit company in Los Angeles, building a horsecar line from The Plaza to 6th and Pearl (now Figueroa Street) Streets.

Los Angeles was a frontier town in the early 1870s, when a group of public-spirited citizens led by Judge Robert Maclay Widney first dreamed of establishing a university in the region. It took nearly a decade for this vision to become a reality, but in 1879 Widney formed a board of trustees and secured a donation of 308 lots of land from three prominent members of the community Ozro W. Childs, a Protestant horticulturist; former California governor John G. Downey, an Irish-Catholic pharmacist and businessman; and Isaias W. Hellman, a German-Jewish banker and philanthropist. The gift provided land for a campus as well as a source of endowment, the seeds of financial support for the nascent institution.
Family links: 
  Wilson Widney (1809 - 1852)
  Robert Johnston Widney (1871 - 1917)*
  Martha Frances Widney Workman (1874 - 1971)*
  Joseph Wilson Widney (1879 - 1884)*
  Arthur B. Widney (1886 - 1931)*
  Charles W. Widney*
  Robert Maclay Widney (1838 - 1929)
  Mary Johnston Widney (1840 - 1843)*
  Joseph Pomeroy Widney (1841 - 1938)*
  William Wilson Widney (1850 - 1921)*
*Calculated relationship
Angelus Rosedale Cemetery
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Maintained by: Ron West
Originally Created by: Sean Kangan
Record added: Jan 05, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 83016466
Robert Maclay Widney
Added by: Sean Kangan
Robert Maclay Widney
Added by: Lisa Albanese
Robert Maclay Widney
Cemetery Photo
Added by: James Seidelman
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Ernest Sharpe Jr
 Added: Jul. 21, 2013

- Rosebud Duff
 Added: Mar. 5, 2012

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